Family Corner

It’s a special corner devoted to you…Parents and Families! 
I fully believe that one of the most important journeys in life, is one of building and equipping spiritually strong, healthy families. Parenting teenagers in today’s world is not an easy task, however it is a joy, and my desire is to help parents anyway I can in raising godly, healthy and active families, and to better understand the ever-changing world of teens.

I’ve included some popular and useful links to parenting sites and resources, and will update them periodically…so enjoy as we learn and journey together!

The Source for Parents     The Source FYM     R U Listening?     Doug Fields
Doing Family Right     Urban Dictionary     Cult Awareness     Homeword  
Internet Safe     Safe Harbor     Seventeen     Family Life     What They Play
VGCharts     Focus on the Family     Plugged-In     Real World Parents       
Understanding Your Teenager     Brett Ullman     Screen It     Family First
What Do You Believe?     Crosswalk Parenting     Teen Challenge    Digital Kids
Family Based Youth Ministry     Centre for Parent-Youth Understanding  XXX Church for Parents

PARENTING TOOLS & RESOURCES
Here’s some good resources you can use from trusted family experts like Doug Fields, Jim Burns (Homeword), Dr. David & Donalyn Currie (Doing Family Right), Fuller Youth Institute, and other friends.

XXX Church 4 Parents Only audio podcast  
Dr. Dave & Friends
How to Talk to your Teen About Sex (audio)
The Digital Kids Initiative: Teens & Texting  
RU Listening? 
Digital Divide Survey: Assumption vs. Reality for Parents  
Video excerpt from Sticky Faith’s parent curriculum  
Author Kara Powell on her new book Sticky Faith (video)
52 FAMILY DEVOTIONALS
10 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A SOLID FAMILY
10 Actions Kids Can Learn from Your Marriage  (Doug Fields)
God\’s Design for the Highly Healthy family- pt. 1 (audio)
God\’s Design for the Highly Healthy Family- pt. 2 (audio)
Defeating Disrespectful Behavior in Kids- pt. 1 (audio)
Defeating Disrespectful Behavior in Kids- pt. 2 (audio)
Five Reasons Kids Want You To Set Boundaries For Them
10 Ways to Correct Behavior Without Crushing Character
Real Life Answers

NUGGETS AND NEWS YOU CAN USE

url-7-600x385TEENS SHARE WHY THEY THINK ‘HOOKING UP’ IS FULFILLING  NEW
A recent Nerve magazine article uses input gathered from teens about the top 10 reasons they feel that hooking up with a stranger is actually a good thing.  The author holds nothing back, and obviously her own morals are severely lacking.  It’s a shame that people are buying into this, but then again, a lot of her research is coming from the perception of teens themselves.  Might be time for some of us parents to have a morality chat with our youth!

FRANCIA RAISA, DAREN KAGASOFF, SHAILENE WOODLEY, KENNY BAUMANN, MEGAN PARK, GREG FINLEY

THE SECRET LIFE OF TEENS  
Just where exactly is the “average” teen spending their time online?  While this infograph certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, it does shed some helpful perspective on the online habits and where-a-bouts of the typical teenager.  The stats raise some alarming questions for parents to address with their youth, and the disconnect between trust and awareness.

thumbWHEN PARENTS TAKE BACK FACEBOOK  
Parents are using their children’s attachment to social media to their advantage, making it a powerful incentive — and punishment — in the age-old struggle to raise kids right.  Many researchers believe it’s parents’ duty in this digital age to take advantage of a lot of built-in tools to lower exposure and the amount of time children spend online.  And, for those parents who are afraid their children are growing up too fast, their education and involvement can be the key.

SETTING GUARDRAILS IN YOUR FAMILY  
How do we as parents, trying to set godly and healthy boundaries, implement rules…or ‘guard rails’ to our kids without going over the top?  How do we communicate the need for, as well as facilitate the consequences for straying outside of the guard rails?  In other words, how strict is too strict in today’s over-saturated media-driven, YOLO culture of teenagedom?

LOSING CONTROL
Teenagers have been using and abusing alcohol, marijuana and controlled substances of various kinds for many generations now. Sadly, you don’t have to look far to find young people who’ve had their lives devastated by these toxic tyrants.  As a parent or youth worker, you likely know someone who’s surrendered far too much control of their life to these vicious substances.  If you’re an adult that wants to walk alongside our youth, then check out the link above and, in addition to walking with a teen in love and grace, you can walk informed!

PARENT & FAMILY RESOURCES
Here’s a link to some quality resources available from Simply Youth Ministry in the area of parenting & families.  The ‘Parents Guide To…‘ series is especially helpful, as it’s a pretty quick and easy read, but packed with lots of good info and illustrations to bring it home.

RAISING KIDS IN A DIVORCED HOME  
It’s tough enough for two parents in the same home trying to raise kids today, let alone trying to do so as a single parent in a split home situation.   I can only imagine the extra amount of communication and work that goes into the task of parenting for single moms and dads, who often are at a loss as to where to start once the transition starts.  So I’m thankful I can direct you to this post from Jonathan McKee about his friend Lane, who has found himself right in the middle of the single parent situation.  I’m not entirely sure about the details of his divorce, or exactly where he sits theologically, but I can tell you that Lane offers some very practical and encouraging advice to single parents who want to see God’s best for their kids as they move along in the journey ahead of them…wherever that takes them.  **here’s a 2nd article that Lane wrote, Hope in a Hopeless Situation, about a friend who inherited a blended family, and how they came up with some helpful suggestions in dealing with that situation.

THE BENEFITS OF SPENDING QUALITY & QUANTITY TIME w YOUR KIDS  
Parents often assume (incorrectly) that their influence in their kids lives will dwindle in adolescence. But a new study suggests that even though many teens may try to avoid encounters with their parents and friends together, private parent-child encounters may actually increase during these critical years.

SHOULD TEENS CRAM FOR A TEST?
Should teens stay up late the night before a test and cram as much information in their heads as they can, or should they go to bed and get some rest? Teens may not like the answer, but the study showed ‘sacrificing sleep with an all-nighter for extra study time is counterproductive’.

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES: HOW FAMILY ASSETS SUPPORT US ALL
Newsflash…there’s new research being conducted in the area of families!  Yeah we hear about it all the time, but this new research is really worth checking out!  It reveals ‘family traits’ that combine to make families stronger and healthier, but also reveals some stats that might be surprising to parents.

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Parents are gearing up to send their kids back to the grinds of the academic institutions, but perhaps it’s the parents, or at least a good portion of them, that need to check back into school…or should I say…reality?  McAfee Software has released the results of a survey they compiled called “The Digital Divide”, which revealed insights on teen’s online behavior, and parental knowledge (or lack of!).

PARENTING YOUR COLLEGE-BOUND TEEN
A helpful & encouraging article from Christianity Today offering  timely advice to parents who are sending their kids off to college in the fall (or perhaps some words of wisdom for those without college-age kids, but you can offer this wisdom to those who know!).

TEENS ATTITUDE ABOUT DRINKING  
Alcohol and binge drinking have, and still do play a major role in Hollywood and the cultural entertainment perception being portrayed in film, music and media.  Teens have a greater access of influence than ever before, and even with all the negative stats re: the abuse of alcohol, is it doing anything to gain positive influence in the majority of teenage behavior?  David R. Smith’s article sheds some light on research into the attitude many teens have about alcohol, as well as providing a parental response on the issue.

TROUBLE FOR TEXTING TEENS?  
The following three articles offer some insight into the struggles and frustrations that the texting generation is experiencing, and causing, particularly among our youth.
   Youth Culture Window post: (More) Trouble with Texting
   ReadWriteWeb article: Why Parents Care About Teenager Texting
   Common Sense Media‘s report: When Texting Turns to Torment
What are your thoughts on the Pro’s and Con’s of texting?

PARENTS USE COVET TACTICS TO MONITOR THEIR KIDS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT  
In recent social media surveys conducted, 66% of Canadian parents, and 61% of US parents admitted to secretly accessing their kids facebook accounts to monitor their online behavior.  The Venture Beat article includes an infograph, but also seems to contradict a Winnipeg Free Press article suggesting 51% of Canadian parents are hacking.  Either way, that’s a lot of parents secretly watching their kids online activity, with reasons varying from worry about future employment opportunities being affected, inappropriate sexual activity, and relationship issues.  What do you think?  Should parents need to secretly hack into their kids social media accounts, or should they have out-right permission and trust?  At what age should kids have a social media account (I blogged about this earlier), and at what age should parents stop monitoring?

THE NEW FACE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
As our cultural lenses have shifted over the years, one area that has been greatly impacted is the concept and definition of ‘family’.  The traditional views of family have steadily eroded over the years and will have an effect and impact on our future generations.  The Source 4 Youth Ministry offers an insightful perspective into the ‘what is‘, but also point us to the ‘what ought to be‘.

LOSING OUT TO LUST   
As a parent one of my biggest fears, and likely one of yours, is the battle our children will face against sexual temptation, lust, and pornography as they enter the pre/teen years.  It’s an unfair fight, and porn uses whatever tactic it needs to win.  But it doesn’t have to be a losing battle for our children, as God has called and equipped His followers with a winning battle plan!  In his in his article Losing Out to Lust, author and speaker David R. Smith sheds some light on the battle our kids are engaged with, and how we as parents can be better prepared to fight alongside them.

WHAT’S THE APPROPRIATE AGE FOR FACEBOOK?  
For those parents who struggle with the question; “what is the appropriate age to allow our child to have a fb account?” here’s a creative infograph for ya, although you as the parent are the final word!

TEENS & THE TRUTH: ARE PARENTS PART OF THE PROBLEM?  
It’s a sad reality that teens struggle to tell the truth in many situations, but you may (or not) be surprised as to the source conflicting with the quest for honesty.  In a recent survey conducted, 98% of teens confessed to lying to their parents, but guess where many learned that mechanism?  You can read the full survey & article from Youth Culture Window here.

LIQUOR AND LIP GLOSS
Recently, there have been several high-profile stories about young people and their abuse of alcohol that has captured the attention of parents around the continent.  But if recent US trends are accurate, it may be the parents of teenage girls that have the most to worry about.  You can read David R. Smith’s article Liquor and Lip Gloss: The Affect of Alcohol on Young Girls, as well as a 2007 report from the Ontario-based research of APOLNET (Alcohol Policy Network) that address the trends, concerns and realities of teen alcohol consumption.  Although there is an ever-so-slight discrepancy between the US and Canadian findings (male vs. female stats), there are unfortunately vast similarities and shared reoccurring themes.

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